Information on Postbox Data

Robert Whittaker made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Robert Whittaker

Dear Royal Mail Group,

I would like to enquire about the data you hold on the post-boxes you operate. I understand from previous FOI requests that you hold a central list (which you regard as "definitive source data for Postbox Collection Plate times") presumably in an electronic database. Please provide details of this database, including the software / version / format used and a description of each of the fields of information stored for each box. Where codes are used to store information, I would like the specification for / meaning of these codes.

In particular, could you explain the allowable formats of the box number: I believe that the first half is a postal district, and the second part is a 1-4 digit number. Is it possible for the number to begin with a zero digit? Are any alphabetical suffixes ever added to the end of the number (for instance to distinguish two neighbouring boxes)?

I have been analysing the central list you provided in response to a previous FOI request, and believe I have found a number of errors in the data it contains. This includes boxes that appear twice under different numbers, other errors such as invalid box numbers and postal districts that don't match the location description, and boxes that appear to be missing from the list. I'm sure you would be interested in correcting some of these problems, so could you please provide the contact details for the person who manages the database.

From my own experience, it would also appear that a small number of boxes may have the wrong collection plates fixed to them, possibly resulting in incorrect collection time information. Some boxes also have missing plates, or out-of-date plates containing an old style reference number (eg "TWR 012"). To whom should these issues be reported?

Given the above problems with the master list and local plates, I am also interested in what additional / duplicate information may be held by local offices (eg those who are responsible for maintaining and collecting mail from each box). I'm unsure of the exact way the Royal Mail is structured, but I'm guessing things may correlate with postal districts and/or sectors. I would like to know what local information on post-boxes and their locations is likely to be held by local offices, in what form it is likely to be held (eg computer database, paper records), and how those offices are organised (eg by postal district).

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whittaker

Royal Mail Group Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Whittaker

Thank you for your request for information received on 10/02/2010, which
we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Act
you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 10/03/2010, which is
twenty working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons for this and giving
a revised date by which we will reply.

If in the mean time you have any questions or would like to contact us
about your request, please contact us by telephone 01252 806513 or
alternatively email or write to us at the address below. Please be
assured that we are giving this our attention and will get back to you

Yours sincerely

Daniel Tulp
[1][Royal Mail Group request email]
Freedom of Information Unit

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,


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1. mailto:[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail Group Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Whittaker

Please find attached a response to your recent Freedom of Information

Yours Sincerely

Daniel Tulp
Freedom of Information Officer
[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,

Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

I've now made a follow-up request for possible postbox information held in the Central Collections Management Database: